The board of directors of the online mortgage company announced Friday that CEO Vishal Garg is “taking time off effective immediately,” in an email sent to company staff.

“Vishal [Garg] will be taking time off effective immediately. During this interim period Kevin Ryan as CFO will be managing the day-to-day decisions of the company and he will be reporting to the Board,” the email Vice obtained read.

The company also announced that “an independent 3rd party firm” was hired to do an assessment of the leadership and culture of the company. Results from this assessment will build a better culture at the company, according to the board.

Vishal Garg incited criticism online after he held a Zoom meeting on Dec. 1 where he fired 900 employees by stating that they were a part of an “unlucky group.”

“Your employment here is terminated effective immediately,” Garg said. At that moment, Garg fired 9% of the company’s workforce.

Ryan called the mass layoff “gut-wrenching.” With the mortgage industry moving online, Ryan said that a “reduced and focused workforce” would help the company. However, the harsh words Garg used were what caused outrage, though that seems to be a part of his character.

Garg apologized for the manner in which he conducted the call. He wrote to employees this week that he had embarrassed the company and that the mass layoff did not show respect or gratitude toward the employees and their work for the company.

“I realize that the way I communicated this news made a difficult situation worse. I am deeply sorry and am committed to learning from this situation and doing more to be the leader that you expect me to be,” the letter read.